Having sold for $2.7 million last year and shuttered after 50-years in business, a permit to raze the iconic Nob Hill (a.k.a. “Touch our Junk”) Theater has been requested and is working its way through Planning.

And as designed by John Lum Architecture for the doctor who purchased the site, a new five-story building will rise up to 50 feet in height upon the Nob Hill parcel, with a ground floor medical office building, a surgery center below, and four residential units across the new building’s top three floors, including one four-bedroom unit for the aforementioned doctor who is planning to operate below.

29 thoughts on “Plans for Iconic Nob Hill Theater Site Have Been Drawn”
  1. Kind of ambivalent on the design but yay infill? Maybe as a homage to its past a new sign on the ground floor of the med office can say: “We touch YOUR junk!”

    1. While the theater site is actually zoned for development up to 65 feet in height, building to said height would require a Conditional Use Permit to be approved, and “the project sponsor has chosen not to create more units with greater height as it will take more time (as a result of a conditional use permit) and will impede his deadlines for opening his surgical practice and doctor’s office and will slow down occupancy by his family of the larger upstairs dwelling unit.”

      1. Does he not have a surgical practice up and running elsewhere in the city? Can we also assume he and his family have a current place to live?

        Basically, the “project sponsor” couldn’t care less about building up to 65 feet and his interests are solely his own.

        Also, it’s a hideous building that is completely out of character for the neighborhood. More city officials’ hands being greased to get this moved through quickly, yet again.

      1. What would be better? It was an old porn theater, like thousands across the country, and the owners chose to close it, not the city. If you want gay history, there are many more deserving sites in the Castro, Tenderloin, SOMA, North Beach, and the Mission.

        To cry “homophobia” when there are people today experiencing actual homophobia/transphobia is clueless at best and distasteful and dishonest at worst.

        1. Oh enough of your manufactured outrage?. The joke clearly wasn’t for you, so move on.

          And this was OUR one and only male porn theatre. It meant a lot and played an important role in some of our lives up until the end. To turn your nose at this well-known venue as if sex work isn’t part of SF gay history in the leagues of Castro and so forth is clueless at best and distasteful and dishonest at worst?.

          1. Flor, you are the one who appears to be attempting to manufacture outrage. And, if you were attempting to make a joke, then what exactly was the joke? I do not see any joke in your remark.

            My response to you was calm and polite. Also, I am gay, so it IS my history. Where are you getting anyone “turning their nose” or acting as if sex has nothing to do with being gay? Simply, acknowledging the theater’s owners voluntarily closed their business and the site now sits empty and ready for a new use does neither. It sounds like you are trying to create drama out of nothing.

          2. I’m not gonna be gaslit on this site for disagreeing with what has been chosen to replace this site, which pays no mind or appreciation to its gay history and the selfish rush to build something so short of its zoned height. That was the intent of the op and I’m not going to explain how shaded humor works to anyone, gay or otherwise.

            Whether people like it or not, Nob Hill Theatre is a part of SF gay history as much so as other sites and neighborhoods and shouldn’t be diminished in their shadow. Because that is how Chris’ above comment read out – dismissive and virtue signaling.

      1. Given that the theater is already long closed, what exactly is being “erased”? Porno is now omnipresent online anyway, gay and straight. Almost eveyr site in a city has SOME cultural significance. Is your ideal freezing everything in amber? Culture lives on in memory, in archives, etc.

          1. You haven’t read many NIMBY arguments, have you?
            You can always find some significance if you are opposed to a new development.

            I will also stand by my other, ending comments. Cities change. Live with it.

  2. A modern take on the old Singaporean shop house: business downstairs, living quarters upstairs. No commute times for the owner, no housing concerns, enough commercial and residential space for future sure fire growth, not to mention tax benefits. I am impressed.

  3. Dream scenario for the doctor if he/she can pull it off. 1) Build their dream home 2) No commute at all 3) Generate huge rental income from the other three units 4) Doesn’t have to pay rent for office space. Bravo!

    1. Some people might find that (effectively) telling all your patients where you live isn’t an ideal arrangement; I’d certainly put “psychiatrist” at the top of the list for that… perhaps this doctor’s practice has a low potential for problems.

  4. The section drawing shows a large space with a height of 8′- 6″ labeled “ceiling” above the exam rooms. What is that for?

  5. Parking is sure gnarly around this location. Hope all the future patients can afford taxis or limos or eek! ubers or lyfts!

  6. Depending on the type of surgery – the article is vague as to what kind of practice this will be – neither of these may be a realistic option…most of us wouldn’t wan’t to walk several blocks under the influence of anesthesia, and I would think a Muni ride could be even more traumatic.

    And speaking of hangovers, tho we were kidding – I think – about the historical significance of the site, it turns out it actually had a history before the latest one; whether or not it was really the “premier traditional jazz venue in SF” I can’t say, but this is an example of why research on sites is often requested.

  7. Call me crazy (and other stuff) but I sure do miss the Knob Hill. SF gained it reputation as The FleshPot Of The West and now most of these places have closed their doors. I just hate the idea of everyone staying home and watching these kind of shows online. Nothing can replace the thrill of experiencing a Skin Show with others in person. A Sad Sign Of The Times and Huge Sigh.

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